The goats outside the Moby Dick Inn continue to munch on grass and capture the attention of Prince Rupert residents.
Teresa Lee, the owner of the hotel, does not want to lose her goats, but the city’s Livestock Prohibition Bylaw forbids keeping them.
“I thought nobody was even going to notice it, but everybody noticed it,” Lee said. She was unfamiliar with the city’s livestock bylaw until after she brought the goats to live on her property on May 28. In the week that she’s had the goats she has set up a shelter for them and named the mother and daughter, Tanny and Hanny.
“They seem to be doing fine. Now they go everywhere and eating,” she said. “I think it’s good. They’re not ugly, there’s not noisy.”
On Monday, June 3, Lee signed an agreement with the city to keep the goats until Sunday, June 9, when the former owner of the goats, a farmer from Hazelton, can come and pick the goats up.
Although the city asked Lee to remove the goats by the end of last week, they have yet to issue any penalty fines for being in contravention of the Livestock Prohibition Bylaw No. 2987.
“Please be advised, failure to comply with the terms of this agreement or if the goats remain within the City of Prince Rupert’s municipal boundary on Monday, June 10, 2019, we the city, will have no alternative but to proceed with further bylaw enforcement in the form of an issued municipal ticket information penalty fine that carries a $100.00 fine amount each issuance,” states the city’s agreement signed by Lee.
Lee told the Northern View that she plans on keeping the goats until after Seafest, and if anyone wants to come and say “Hi” to Tanny and Hanny they will be at the Moby Dick Inn. Seafest is the largest festival on B.C.’s North Coast with three days of events from June 7-9. After the festivities, Lee said she will have to return the goats.
“Once they’re gone I’m not going to bring them back,” Lee said, adding that it’s too stressful for the baby and the momma to be relocated to and from Hazelton.
As for the bylaw, the last time it was amended was in 1996. The bylaw defines livestock as any horse, mule, ass, swine, sheep, goat, cow, or any other animal of the bovine species, and it also includes rabbits, poultry, pigeons and doves.
In 2012, council considered a bylaw change to allow some residents to keep backyard chickens for the purpose of harvesting eggs, however the bylaw remains unchanged. Although some people in the city do have their own chickens, they are still considered to be in contravention of the Livestock Prohibition Bylaw.
City council meets again on Monday, June 10.
Shannon Lough | Editor
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